Career Partnerships Program

Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.

— George Washington

Career Partnerships Program Overview

The Career Partnerships Program (CPP) builds professional skills and offers concrete experiences for students to explore college and career. The goal is to give students the information, skills, inspiration and motivation that they need to shape their own futures. In meetings, trainings and the once-each-semester mini-retreat, students learn communication and networking skills and discuss issues that relate to both their present and their future. On college trips students tour nearby universities, meet with O’Dowd alums and evaluate what they want in a college.

Workplace trips and special events introduce students to a variety of professionals and careers. Deeper exploration of careers is also available through shadowing and internship possibilities. The CPP is open to rising sophomores, juniors and seniors. For more information contact Meghan Wallingford via email or by phone at ext. 621.

What We Do

  • Students learn communication and networking skills that will serve them in school and throughout their lives.  Guided reflection helps students get the most from their experiences.
  • Before meeting professionals, students will have thought about what they want to accomplish with this experience and prepared questions they want to ask. We also coach students in the culture, etiquette and norms of the professional environment.
  • CPP students receive individual attention to help them identify their interests, develop their skills, and meet professionals who will help them pursue their dreams.
  • College visits are a window into the student’s own future. Students meet professors, interact with college students, and explore what they want in a college.
  • Group events, where students meet different types of professionals, expand the student’s sense of possibility and offer insight into a variety of fields.
  • Shadowing introduces students to career partners -- professionals doing important and interesting work. Students enter a professional workplace, watch the career partner at work, and talk about issues -- college, career, life choices, the role of professionals in the community, their ability to work for the greater good, and the impact of economic and social factors related to that profession, including gender and ethnicity.

CPP Evening with the Professionals

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CPP Visits Crime Lab

Students participating a Career Partnerships Program field trip got a real-world view of how forensic science is used in crime-solving when they visited the Oakland Police Department’s Criminalistics Laboratory on April 22.

Located on the sixth floor of the Oakland Police Department, the laboratory has four operational units – firearms, latent prints, forensic biology and drug analysis.

Criminalist/Supervisor of the Drug Analysis Unit Sandra Sachs, Ph.D., and her colleagues talked with students about how they analyze physical evidence collected from crime scenes in the laboratory, prepare written reports of their findings, and sometimes are called upon to explain complicated scientific evidence to juries in court.

The students got to look through a sophisticated comparison microscope that allows criminalists to analyze side-by-side specimens, learned that there are three main fingerprint patterns – loops, whorls and arches, watched a criminalist demonstrate the swabbing method to collect a DNA sample from a T-shirt, and got an overview of the presumptive and confirmatory tests used to identify drugs.

“It was really interesting learning about the different sectors of the lab and how each person specializes in a different area,” Madisen Bilodeau ’17 said.

Victoria Keast ’17 said the visit helped shape her plans for the future, as it encouraged her to study science in college. “There are so many interesting and fun careers in science. The thing I found most interesting about the visit to the Crime Lab is how the lab uses technology that ranges greatly, such as Super Glue in a fish tank (which helps reveal latent fingerprints) to robots that extract DNA,” she said.

Career Day Encourages Students to Plan for the Future


In today’s world of mergers and acquisitions, human resources departments play a critical role in ensuring the smooth integration of two companies into one.

Vice President of Human Resources for Chevron’s Downstream & Chemicals organization Rhonda Jackson Morris ’83 says training and orientation programs are key elements of a successful transition.

“Different companies have different cultures, and the HR department has to integrate the companies together and develop programs to help with the transition,” she said. “We want to make sure that everybody has the right tools, the right training, and the right skills to do their job the best they can.”

Morris was one of nearly 50 professionals who participated in O’Dowd’s Career Day, held on April 17.

Junior students were able to choose from various presentations by alumni, parents and members of the community who discussed careers in many fields, including engineering, business, health care, advertising, law enforcement, public service, journalism and marketing.

Career Partnership Program Students Visit Facebook Campus

Career Partnership Program students visited the Facebook campus today. In addition to excellent career advice they were able to tour the incredible campus which is modeled after a street in Palo Alto, complete with store fronts. Some of the storefronts were to free restaurants the staff can eat at, choosing between BBQ, mexican, hamburgers, salads, and other food themes. There was even a Sweets shop that included Mojito cupcakes, Grand Marnier chocolate tarts, All You Can Eat Fro Yo and more.

Students were given excellent career advice by our tour leader, Isabelle Dupont (O’Dowd Alum/Jeanne’s Daughter). We greatly appreciate the opportunity.

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O’Dowd Students in Life Like Medical Simulations at Samuel Merritt University

Students got a phenomenal opportunity to experience a high end medical simulation suite for training anesthesiologists at Samuel Merritt University.

They also go the opportunity to participate in a high end infant care simulation suite at Samuel Merritt University.

Some student testimonials as they come in:

“I really enjoyed the trip to the University and I greatly appreciate the time the team took teach us about the simulations. Going through simulations only increased my excitement of going into the medical field. I really loved learning how to give a person a shot and how to take vital signs. Also, being apart of simulations was really fun. The whole trip was important to me because I really felt connected to the work their were doing there, and I felt I was meant to be apart of the goals they were striving towards. This trip only made my urge to become a doctor even greater than before and I can’t wait until I can graduate from O’Dowd, move on to college, and then hopefully medical school.
Thank you for arranging the trip!!
— Zoe Appel”

“Before the trip to Samuel Merritt, I was still very unsure what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to go into the medical field but I had no clue whether to be a nurse, a physical therapist, a pediatrician, a surgeon, etc. However, after learning how to check a person’s vital signs, how to react in a medical emergency, and how to tell an enlarged heart from a normal one, I was certain that I wanted either be a nurse or some type of doctor. This trip was fun, interesting, and helped me learn more about not only careers in medicine but also myself and what I would like my occupation to be.”
— Jolene Chan

“The trip to Samuel Merritt Simulation lab was a very fun and a very in-depth experience of some of the numerous fields within the medical profession. Everything was hands on, and far from boring. We were given the opportunity to enter a simulation room with a “patient”, outfitted with mask, gloves, and hat to be taught, up close, how to administer general anesthesia and insert an endotracheal tube or an ETT. We were even given syringes and needles to learn how to properly give a shot into a little patch of squishy material that really resembles flesh. I think one of the most important things that I have learned from this trip was how to do the Heimlich maneuver on myself if ever alone and on a baby infant as well. And, of course, I have also learned very valuable insight on my course for the future and my profession(s). I highly recommend this trip to anyone interested in a profession within the medical field. ”
— Andrew Jay Dysico

Finding God in All Things

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